Dr. Widukind Lenz was the first doctor in Germany to recognize the connection between Thalidomide and malformations in babies. At the time he was a lecturer at the Hamburg University Hospital and a senior physician at the University’s Children’s Clinic in Hamburg. In June 1961 a young couple, the Schulte-Hillens, came to see Lenz and asked him to have a look at their six-week-old baby boy Jan, born with two short arms and missing fingers. The Schulte-Hillens told Lenz about other babies recently born with malformed limbs. Lenz was alarmed. He knew that the accumulation of so many cases in such a short time was highly unusual. Lenz eventually teamed up with Karl-Hermann Schulte-Hillen. Together they drove around all over Northern Germany looking for more babies and hoping to find the cause.
Source: “No Limits” interview with Linde Schulte-Hillen, Jan. 24, 2015.